The spirit of the new rule is to reduce the number of collisions on kickoffs.
However, this year will be a little different when it comes to the college football scene as the NCAA introduced some changes for this upcoming season. According to the NCAA, fewer injuries occur on kickoffs that result in touchbacks than kickoffs that are returned. That included moving kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35 ahead of the 2012 season and pushing the starting position on touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line. But now, a returner may wave an arm for a fair catch anywhere between the goal line and 25-yard line and down the ball immediately, only to have the offense start at the 25-yard line.
It is the latest of several rules changes in recent years.More news: Gianluigi Buffon won't back down over Michael Oliver comments
The panel also approved rules regarding blocks below the waist and pace of play. The play clock will also be set quicker after a kickoff to keep things flowing as well.
The NCAA noted that it had made changes in the past in an effort to improve player safety.
Play clock will be set at 40 seconds following a touchdown, prior to an extra-point kick or two-point conversion attempt.More news: Panchayat union teachers on 'campaign' trail
Last month, the NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed a significant tweak to kickoffs, calling for any fair catch made between the goal line and the 25-yard line to be treated as a touchback. "These changes will not take plays out of the game, but will positively impact the flow of the game".
Collaborative replay systems - in which replays are reviewed and ruled upon from an off-site location such as a conference office rather than in the stadium - will remain in effect. A timeout can be used to avoid a 10-second runoff. It is illegal to leap over the frame of an opponent's body.
If there is an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or personal foul by the defense on a field goal, the kicking team will have the option to have the penalty enforced on the ensuing kickoff.More news: Two-goal hero Zaha 'buzzing' after Crystal Palace's victory